New President of NAACP Legal Defense Fund Sets Fresh Focus
Sherrilyn Ifill says the organization will push a more proactive agenda
With over half a century of black civil rights history at its core, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund is off to a fresh start under the leadership of Sherrilyn Ifill. Ifill will serve as the new president and director-counsel of the organization. Specializing in voting rights cases, Ifill is both an academic and a litigator—a professor of law at the University of Maryland for the past 20 years.
She takes the post at a critical moment, with the Supreme Court reviewing a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. She says rather than only reacting to legal decisions that affect minority Americans, organizations must forcefully push a proactive agenda.
“The offense game is figuring out the policies, practices and laws that are interfering with the ability of African Americans to attain educational and economic opportunities,” Ifill said, in an interview with BET.com.
She's also hoping to interrupt the system of “schools that end up leading our kids into the prison system,” and to help African Americans who were affected by the foreclosure crisis.